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Nation/World

November 16, 2013

Toronto council strips Ford of powers

(Continued)

The mayor, a conservative who touts his efforts to curb public spending and keep taxes low, later made it clear he intends to seek re-election next year.

“Councilors spoke today. The taxpayers of this great city will have their say Oct. 27,” Ford told a crush of reporters at City Hall, referring to next year’s municipal elections. Nearby, a few hecklers shouted, “Resign! Resign!”

The mayor of North America’s fourth-largest city said he didn’t care that many council members were laughing at him, noting he won a large mandate in the 2010 election and was laughed at for years as a councilman before being elected mayor.

“They laughed at me for 13 years but fortunately 387,000 people never laughed at me. We’ll see what happens” the mayor said.

Ford’s lawyer, Dennis Morris, accused the council of attempting an illegal “coup,” while his brother and adviser, councilman Doug Ford, called him “the mayor of the people” and said the rights of those who voted for him were being trampled.

Yesterday’s vote came a day after yet another series of antics that outraged city councilors.

“We need to take away his power for the good of the city,” said Councilor Denzil Minnan-Wong, a former ally. “The tide has turned and there are very few people that are prepared to defend him given his vulgar comments and his admission that not only does he takes drugs but that he seems to be comfortable drinking and getting behind the wheel.”

On Thursday, Ford spouted an obscenity while denying that he pressured a female employee for oral sex, saying on live television that he was “happily married” and using crude language to assert that he enjoys enough oral sex at home.

“If it wasn’t for that stupid comment he made yesterday no one would have thought this (the council’s action) was appropriate,” his attorney Morris told The Associated Press.

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